First discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1959, HIV is now thought to have already been the cause of several deaths dating back to the 1930s. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the illness began to rapidly develop, resulting in the current epidemic.

A permanent cure has not yet been found, but solutions do exist that slow down its progression. Many countries have introduced screening campaigns, but the most remote regions still lack access to infrastructures and remain the most at risk. The implemented measures have not been as effective as hoped, as they are not always accessible to the most vulnerable populations.

Once the individual has been infected, the first symptoms may only appear after a few months, or even years—an important factor in involuntary transmission. The HIV virus is now thought to have caused 30 million deaths, further evidence of its exponential growth.

Since the discovery of HIV, no treatment offering a cure has been placed on the market. However, triple therapy does slow its progression and offers HIV victims a life expectancy similar to those of healthy people.